Shoulder season is here.

Sprout Farm Newsletter Sept. 5, 2019

Good Morning Everyone,

The shoulder season has arrived. This is the best weather you’ll see on Cape Cod and we have the best of the summer fruits and veggies along with your fall favorites. I just brought Honey Crisp apples home from The Big Apple in Wrentham. Come on in and check out the prices. The peaches are still plentiful and juicy. That’s all good. I ended up with two extra boxes of peaches on this morning’s load. That means we won’t run out soon but I’m always ready to head up to Wrentham to pick up what you need.

I was watching a series on the History channel, ‘The foods that built America’ and I was struck by how persons who had a great idea about food were not always the visionaries that were needed to make that food standardized and nationally available. I asked Jay if he thought he would see the day when someone would standardize (franchise) the basic rural farm stand. He said no but I think there is a desire to have locally grown food but no one has thought how to combine the most efficient farm stand layout with an efficient supply chain. I think the local farmers would be happy to have a steady local market especially since they are locked out of the supermarket distribution system. It’s just a thought but if you see it start to happen, remember me.

We have the best summer vegetables of the whole season, beans, cukes, and summer squash. Jay comes in from the field with his state approved food grade harvesting containers wearing a smile on his face. Those pesticide courses have paid off by teaching all about bugs and especially diseases like downy mildew. A lot of farms don’t have these summer crops so we’re happy to have the early fall production. Jay has been disciplined about applying just the right chemicals to protect the plants and the pollinators. The bees love garlic chive flowers more than any plant in the garden and August and Sept. are the best months for these hardy perennial flowers to bloom. They smell nice when you use them in cut flower arrangements.

Jay will be working in the vegetable rows and I’ll be cutting flowers nearby when the peace and quiet is broken by the sound of Jay’s cell phone ringing. Even the wild turkeys will look up to see what’s going on. Jay doesn’t like technology but he stays connected by wearing his phone; I’m invisible when I’m out back. It’s just funny to see him standup to swipe his phone and say, “Sprout.” He’s always connected to what’s going on at the farm.

It looks like we’re going to avoid hurricane Dorian. Hurricane Bob brought a surprise growth spurt to our south coast gardens back in 1991. The high winds picked up salt from the warm ocean water and slammed it into the green leaves and plants. We saw our dwarf apple trees lose all their leaves, fruit and weeks later watch next season’s buds open and flower. We learned that you need to wash the surface salt off the plants as soon as possible to minimize salt burn and possible permanent damage to landscape plantings.

The kittens are growing and they’ve reached the stage where they recognize an image in a mirror. It’s funny to watch Striper dig furiously at the mirror. They get tired of that pretty soon and spend a good part of the day perched up the maple tree in the front yard. Fluffy still hisses at them but I hope they are taking hunting lessons from her instead of sleeping lessons from Gorden Light foot.

That’s all for now. I hope you all stop by soon and pick up some of the most beautiful mums on the Cape.

See you soon,

Jay and Phyllis Sprout

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